Gladiator

  • 15
  • Ridley Scott (2000)
  • US
  • 148 min
Gladiator
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Ridley Scott and the boys from DreamWorks produced the first genuine Roman epic since 1964's The Fall of the Roman Empire with this virtual remake that deals with the transition of power from the sage-like Marcus Aurelius to his monstrous son, Commodus. The fictional hero, General Maximus, is Caesar's adopted heir, whom Commodus turns into an exile after killing his family. Becoming a gladiator, Maximus fights to avenge his loved ones and save the soul of Rome. The film's strengths are a fine script, which doesn't stint on the politics, and excellent performances from Richard Harris as Aurelius and Oliver Reed, in his final film, as a gladiator trainer. Also superb is Joaquin Phoenix as the paranoid, teenage Commodus, while Russell Crowe is utterly convincing as the Conan/Spartacus-like hero. As always with Scott, the visuals are fabulous: the computer-generated ancient Rome is simply staggering, allowing helicopter shots over the city and turning the Colosseum into a living building, a character in its own right and a blood-soaked stage on which the fate of the characters and the empire is enacted. For those old enough to remember the 70mm epics of yesteryear, this is a nostalgic synthesis of all of them. For those who haven't seen those earlier movies, Scott will open their eyes to a "brand-new" old world.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning period epic starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Rome, the second century AD: dying emperor Marcus Aurelius chooses the city's beloved general, Maximus Decimus Meridius, as his successor - a decision that results in a bitter power struggle with Aurelius's son Commodus, who sentences Maximus and his family to death. The general escapes, but he and Commodus are destined to meet again.

Cast and crew

Cast

Maximus Decimus Meridius
Russell Crowe
Commodus
Joaquin Phoenix
Lucilla
Connie Nielsen
Proximo
Oliver Reed
Gracchus
Derek Jacobi
Juba
Djimon Hounsou
Marcus Aurelius
Richard Harris
Falco
David Schofield
Gaius
John Shrapnel
Quintus
Tomas Arana
Cassius
David Hemmings

Crew

Director
Ridley Scott

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
UIP
Guidance: 
Violence and swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 12 May 2000
Certificate 15
Categories
Drama

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